Saints at Falcons: Highlights, score and recap

The Atlanta Falcons will host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon in Week 17. Here are all the highlights, the game recap, and the final score.

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In one of the late afternoon kickoffs on Sunday, Jan. 1 in Week 17 of the 2016 NFL season, the Atlanta Falcons (10-5) will host their arch rival in the New Orleans Saints (7-8). Kickoff from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta will be at 4:25 p.m. ET on New Year’s Day. FOX will have the telecast.

New Orleans has missed the NFC Playoffs for the third season in a row. The Saints need a win on the road against their playoff-bound arch nemesis to even get to .500. New Orleans would love nothing more than to ruin the final regular season game in the history of the Georgia Dome. The Falcons move into brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium next season.

Atlanta has qualified for the 2016 NFC Playoffs by winning the NFC South for the first time since the 2012 NFL season. The Falcons can clinch a first-round bye with a win or losses by the Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1) and the Detroit Lions (9-6). It’s just easier if the Falcons take care of business at home to get the No. 2 seed.

Three Stars

  1. Matt Ryan: Ryan needs a big performance to give himself a better chance at winning NFL MVP. Look for him to go off in spectacular fashion against a Saints defense he knows all too well. Ryan will complete 68 percent of his passes for 335 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.
  2. Devonta Freeman: Freeman needs only 17 rushing yards to reach 1,000 on the ground this season. He’s going to hit that milestone and then some. Look for Freeman to have 75 rushing yards and a touchdown, as well as 45 receiving yards for another touchdown as a pass catcher.
  3. Drew Brees: Brees always comes up big against the rival Falcons. He’ll keep pace with Ryan on Sunday afternoon for sure. Look for Brees to complete 65 percent of his passes for 315 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception.



Next Game

New Orleans has been eliminated from playoff contention in the NFC. The Saints’ next game will be in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season against an opponent to be determined.

Atlanta has clinched the NFC South division title. The Falcons’ next game will be in the NFC Playoffs against an opponent to be determined.

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